Brooklyn Law School is proud to announce that Sparkle L. Sooknanan ’10 will be clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor starting in July 2013. Sooknanan previously served as a law clerk to Judge Eric N. Vitaliano of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and Judge Guido Calabresi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She is currently on the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.
“Sparkle is a brilliant example of the quality of our students and the teaching they receive from the Brooklyn Law School faculty,” said Dean Nick Allard. “Her high intelligence and work ethic will be put to good use by Justice Sotomayor.”
“Sparkle is the first Brooklyn Law School graduate to achieve this great honor. We are all enormously proud of her,” added President Joan G. Wexler.
Sooknanan’s road to the Supreme Court has been an extraordinary one. When she was just 16 years old, she left her native Trinidad and Tobago and moved to New York City to attend St. Francis College. After graduating from St. Francis, Sooknanan went on to earn her MBA from Hofstra University. When she applied to Brooklyn Law School, she was accepted as a part-time evening student, and continued working full time at HIP Health Plan of New York, where she had been working following graduate school.
Despite the demands of juggling work and classes, Sooknanan maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout law school, graduating summa cum laude in June 2010 with a slew of honors, including the Faculty Prize, the highest honor at Brooklyn Law School; the Professor Samuel Hoffman Memorial Prize for excellence in the study of corporate law; the American Bankruptcy Law Journal Student Prize for excellence in the study of bankruptcy law, and the Henrietta and Stuard Hirschman Memorial Prize for excellence in the study of property law.
While in law school, Sooknanan was the Executive Articles Editor of the Brooklyn Law Review and the President of the Moot Court Honor Society. She earned the National Best Brief award at the 59th Annual New York City Bar National Moot Court Competition. Her note, The Rule 2019 Battle: When Hedge Funds Collide with the Bankruptcy Code, has been cited by Bankruptcy Courts in Delaware and Pennsylvania. She was also a research assistant to Professor Dana Brakman Reiser. “Sparkle was a pleasure to teach and to work with as a research assistant,” said Professor Brakman Reiser. “She was hard-working and extremely bright, but most important was her keen critical eye. I could always count on her to ask me the tough questions about my research, and her efforts really improved my work.”
“Law school was an incredible, life-changing experience,” said Sooknanan. “I knew soon after I started that I had found my place and wanted to spend my career in the legal profession.”
“I am thrilled and honored by the opportunity to clerk for Justice Sotomayor,” she said. “It represents the culmination of so many dreams. I will always be grateful to my family for all of their love and encouragement, to Judge Vitaliano and Judge Calabresi for their mentorship and support, and to everyone at Brooklyn Law School who invested so much of their time in my academic and career development.”
Read more about Sooknanan in the Spring 2010 issue of BLS LawNotes and in the Trinidad Guardian.